Wealth Categories Explained  

Learn the key differences between mass affluent individuals and HNWIs and how to increase your net worth.

Who are Mass Affluent Individuals?

Mass affluent individuals have between $100,000 and $1 million in liquid assets and an annual household income above $75,000. While they have less wealth than high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), mass affluent individuals make up about 26% of the US population. They live an upper middle-class lifestyle and hold substantial liquid assets as opposed to illiquid assets like real estate.

The combination of income over $75,000 and assets between $100,000-$1 million defines mass affluent individuals. Those who meet just part of the criteria, like having a high income or high assets alone, are not considered mass affluent.

Who are High-Net-Worth Individuals?

A high-net-worth individual (HNWI) is someone who owns at least $1 million in liquid assets, excluding assets like their primary residence or collectibles. HNWIs are further categorized:

- HNWIs have $1-5 million in liquid assets
- Very-high-net-worth individuals (VHNWIs) have $5-30 million 
- Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) own over $30 million

Due to their significant assets, HNWIs often require specialized financial services including investment management, tax strategies, estate planning, and access to alternative investments. They play an important economic role by investing in businesses, real estate, and financial markets to drive growth.

HNWIs also prioritize legacy planning to transfer wealth to heirs through strategies like trusts. Their net worth is solely based on assets over $1 million, not an income threshold.

IFB Bank Services for High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs), Very-High-Net-Worth Individuals (VHNWIs), and Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWIs)

These services are meticulously tailored to the sophisticated financial and investment needs of each echelon, ensuring a bespoke approach to wealth accumulation, preservation, and transmission. Let us elucidate the services commonly extended to each group, reflecting the general practice within the industry.

Services for High-Net-Worth Individuals ($1-5 million in liquid assets)

  1. Wealth Management and Financial Planning: Comprehensive financial advisory services, including investment advice, estate planning, and tax strategies, aimed at optimising the client's financial health and achieving specific financial objectives.
  2. Customized Investment Solutions:Tailored investment portfolios that may include a mix of stocks, bonds, alternative investments, and private equity, designed to balance risk and reward according to the client's risk appetite and investment goals.
  3. Banking and Credit Solutions: Exclusive banking services such as high-yield savings accounts and bespoke credit solutions, including jumbo mortgages, securities-based lending, and lines of credit.
  4. Estate Planning and Trust Services: Assistance in developing estate plans that ensure wealth preservation and smooth succession, including the creation of trusts and philanthropic giving strategies.

Services for Very-High-Net-Worth Individuals ($5-30 million)

  1. Family Office Services: A more sophisticated level of wealth management that includes consolidated asset management, dedicated financial advisors, and services tailored to managing the broader aspects of a family's wealth and legacy.
  2. Alternative Investments and Direct Private Investments: Access to exclusive investment opportunities not available to the general public, such as hedge funds, private equity, real estate investments, and direct investments in startups.
  3. Philanthropy Advisory: Expertise in structuring philanthropic endeavors, creating charitable trusts or foundations, and integrating philanthropy into the overall wealth management strategy.
  4. Specialized Financing: More complex financing options, including aircraft financing, yacht financing, and art financing, reflecting the unique lifestyle needs of VHNWIs.

Services for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Individuals (over $30 million)

  1. Global Investment Platform: Access to global investment opportunities and international asset allocation, taking into account the need for geographic and currency diversification.
  2. Concierge Services: Beyond financial services, offering lifestyle management services that cater to the UHNWI's personal and family needs, including travel arrangements, educational consultancy, and luxury acquisitions as well as security.
  3. Risk Management: Advanced risk management strategies that cover not just investment risks but also personal, family, and operational risks associated with owning and running substantial business interests.
  4. Private Banking: Ultra-exclusive banking services, including dedicated private bankers, customized financing options, and preferential rates and terms for banking products.

These services, while comprehensive, are but a cursory glance at the multifaceted offerings a bank such as IFB might provide to its esteemed clientele. It is worth noting that the delineation of services across these wealth tiers is fluid, offering highly personalised and flexible solutions to meet the evolving needs of our clients. The ultimate goal remains to safeguard and enhance their wealth through strategic advisory and exclusive opportunities.

Taxonomy of Wealth Categories in Companies 

For companies, the segmentation of wealth categories often hinges on various parameters, including revenue, assets under management (AUM), market capitalisation, and operational scale. Here is an analogous delineation, tailored to encapsulate the essence of corporate entities:

  1. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs): Analogous to HNWI, SMEs are recognized for their significant contribution to the economy, generating a substantial volume of employment and innovation. These entities typically manifest an annual revenue of less than $50 million or possess assets or employee counts under certain thresholds, which may vary by country.
  2. Large Enterprises: Resembling VHNWI, large enterprises are characterized by their more considerable scale, often with revenues ranging from $50 million to $1 billion. These corporations wield considerable influence in their respective domains, driving industry standards and demonstrating substantial operational and market presence.
  3. Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and Conglomerates: Serving as the corporate equivalent to UHNWI, these behemoths operate on a global scale, with revenues often exceeding $1 billion. They exhibit extensive diversification or specialization in multiple industries, commanding significant market share, influence, and financial prowess.

This categorisation, while illuminative, is a broad generalisation. The thresholds and definitions may vary significantly across different jurisdictions and industries, reflecting the fluidity and complexity of the global economic landscape.